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Things. Places. Years

a film by Klub Zwei (Simone Bader & Jo Schmeiser)

THINGS. PLACES. YEARS.
DOCUMENTARY | 2004 | Austria, Germany | 70 min | Englisch | Digital | Farbe


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The knowledge of Jewish Women. Absence and Presence. Vienna and London. Things.Places.Years. comprises interviews with Jewish women of the first, second and third generation. The film´s protagonists are not only women who escaped from Nazi Austria as young children, but also their daughters and granddaughters who were born and brought up in the United Kingdom. The film tries to show that experiences of emigration, diaspora and genocide are passed on from generation to generation. It investigates how these experiences continue to have an effect on the lives of young Jewish women – until today. When talking about presence and absence, about lack and loss, these words can mean entirely different things – according to who is speaking. Thus descendants of survivors of the Holocaust speak of "The Presence of the Absence" (Katherine Klinger) and thereby mean the presence of the loss of their whole family, the loss of their parents’s mother tongue, the loss of places their parents loved, places that still exist in Vienna – unchanged until today. But what does "The Presence of the Absence" signify for us, as decendants of the perpetrator society? It means to deal with "The Past in the Present" (Ulf Wuggenig), to work against the old and new antisemitism and racism that Jews and migrants are confronted with in Austria today. Often, in their representation, experiences of expulsion, emigration and the Holocaust are treated as things past. The documentary Things. Places. Years. recognises the past as part of the present. This past is part of our identities, as the descendants of those deported and forced into exile, as the children of witnesses, bystanders and perpetrators. Things. Places. Years. shows the impact of forced emigration and the Holocaust in the lives of three generations of women in London. The film also focuses on their work. Nearly all of the twelve women featured in the film found their occupations in the cultural field. Most have a Jewish background. However, it is difficult to define what these women have in common. Is it their Jewishness or their interest in art and culture? Or is it how they confront the past? The film does not construct a homogeneous female identity. Rather, Things. Places. Years. goes beyond the dilemma of ascription and determination. It gives these women ample space to speak about their identities, which is much more multifaceted than their identification as being Jewish. An identification that was cause for deportation and murder during the Nazi era. An identification that makes Jews out of men and women with a Jewish background. Until this film was made, these women had rarely been asked how they identify themselves. Things. Places. Years. brings the women´s experiences and analyses to the screen. But it also focuses on quiet moments, silence and contemplativeness. In familiar surroundings, such as their homes or workplaces, the women talk about their relationships to places, to things and about their Jewishness. The film also offers the opportunity for us to confront ourselves with anti-Semitism today. Something we should all take time to do. For, the past recurs in the present. (Rosa Reitsamer)
Cast: Geraldine Auerbach, Josephine Bruegel, Erica Davies, Katherine Klinger, Elly Miller, Rosemarie Nief, Lisbeth Perks, Anni Reich, Ruth Rosenfelder, Nitza Spiro, Ruth Sands, Tamar Wang

Director: Klub Zwei (Simone Bader & Jo Schmeiser)Camera: Anita Makris, Daniel Pöhacker, Rainer EggerEditing: Maria Arlamovsky, Klub Zwei, Dieter PichlerMusic: Daniel Pöhacker, Zenzile & Jamika Ajalon
Production: Gabriele Kranzelbinder, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu
Funding: BKA.kunst, Stadt Wien,

Worldsales: AUTLOOK Films
Erfahrungen von Vertreibung, Emigration und Holocaust werden oft in der Vergangenheit verortet. Der Dokumentarfilm Things. Places. Years. bringt diese Vergangenheit in die Gegenwart. Sie ist Teil unserer Identität als Angehörige der Vertriebenen und Deportierten, als Söhne und Töchter der TäterInnen und MitläuferInnen. Things. Places. Years. zeigt wie Vertreibung, Emigration und Holocaust das Leben von zwölf in London beheimateten Frauen durch drei Generationen prägt. Der Film fokussiert zudem die Arbeit der Frauen, die fast alle im Kulturbereich tätig sind. Viele von ihnen haben einen jüdischen Hintergrund. Ihre Gemeinsamkeit ist schwer zu definieren: Ist es das Jüdisch-Sein oder ihr Interesse an Kunst und Kultur, oder ist es ihre Auseinandersetzung mit der Vergangenheit? Der Film konstruiert keine homogene, weibliche Identität, sondern umgeht das Dilemma der Zu- und Festschreibungen. Er gibt den Frauen Raum, um über ihre Identität zu sprechen, die komplexer ist als die Feststellung, dass sie Jüdinnen sind. Eine Feststellung, die im Nationalsozialismus zu Vertreibung und Ermordung führte. Eine Feststellung, die Menschen mit jüdischem Hintergrund zu Juden und Jüdinnen macht. Wie sie sich selbst sehen, hat sie bis zu diesem Film kaum jemand gefragt. Things. Places. Years. bringt die Analysen, Berichte und Erfahrungen der Frauen, aber auch die ruhigen Momente, die Stille, die Nachdenklichkeit vor die Kamera. In vertrauten Umgebungen wie dem Zuhause oder dem Arbeitsplatz sprechen die Frauen über ihre Beziehungen zu Orten, zu Dingen und über ihr Jüdisch-Sein. Der Film ermöglicht auch eine Auseinandersetzung mit Antisemitismus, für die wir uns Zeit nehmen sollten. Denn die Vergangenheit kehrt in der Gegenwart wieder. (Rosa Reitsamer) 

Wenn von Präsenz und Absenz die Rede ist, so bedeutet dies, je nachdem wer davon spricht, Unterschiedliches. So sprechen die Nachkommen von Überlebenden des Holocaust von "The Presence of the Absence" (Katherine Klinger) und meinen damit die Präsenz des Verlusts ganzer Familien, des Verlusts der Muttersprache ihrer Eltern, des Verlusts von Orten, die ihre Eltern geliebt haben und die heute noch, unverändert, in Wien existieren. Was aber bedeutet "The Presence of the Absence" für uns, als Nachkommen der TäterInnen- und MitläuferInnengesellschaft? Es meint die Auseinandersetzung mit der "Vergangenheit in der Gegenwart" (Ulf Wuggenig), das heißt, die Arbeit gegen den aktuellen, alten und neuen Antisemitismus und Rassismus, mit dem JüdInnen und MigrantInnen in Österreich heute zunehmend konfrontiert sind.


The knowledge of Jewish Women. Absence and Presence. Vienna and London. Things.Places.Years. comprises interviews with Jewish women of the first, second and third generation. The film´s protagonists are not only women who escaped from Nazi Austria as young children, but also their daughters and granddaughters who were born and brought up in the United Kingdom. The film tries to show that experiences of emigration, diaspora and genocide are passed on from generation to generation. It investigates how these experiences continue to have an effect on the lives of young Jewish women – until today. When talking about presence and absence, about lack and loss, these words can mean entirely different things – according to who is speaking. Thus descendants of survivors of the Holocaust speak of "The Presence of the Absence" (Katherine Klinger) and thereby mean the presence of the loss of their whole family, the loss of their parents’s mother tongue, the loss of places their parents loved, places that still exist in Vienna – unchanged until today. But what does "The Presence of the Absence" signify for us, as decendants of the perpetrator society? It means to deal with "The Past in the Present" (Ulf Wuggenig), to work against the old and new antisemitism and racism that Jews and migrants are confronted with in Austria today. Often, in their representation, experiences of expulsion, emigration and the Holocaust are treated as things past. The documentary Things. Places. Years. recognises the past as part of the present. This past is part of our identities, as the descendants of those deported and forced into exile, as the children of witnesses, bystanders and perpetrators. Things. Places. Years. shows the impact of forced emigration and the Holocaust in the lives of three generations of women in London. The film also focuses on their work. Nearly all of the twelve women featured in the film found their occupations in the cultural field. Most have a Jewish background. However, it is difficult to define what these women have in common. Is it their Jewishness or their interest in art and culture? Or is it how they confront the past? The film does not construct a homogeneous female identity. Rather, Things. Places. Years. goes beyond the dilemma of ascription and determination. It gives these women ample space to speak about their identities, which is much more multifaceted than their identification as being Jewish. An identification that was cause for deportation and murder during the Nazi era. An identification that makes Jews out of men and women with a Jewish background. Until this film was made, these women had rarely been asked how they identify themselves. Things. Places. Years. brings the women´s experiences and analyses to the screen. But it also focuses on quiet moments, silence and contemplativeness. In familiar surroundings, such as their homes or workplaces, the women talk about their relationships to places, to things and about their Jewishness. The film also offers the opportunity for us to confront ourselves with anti-Semitism today. Something we should all take time to do. For, the past recurs in the present. (Rosa Reitsamer)
Festivals:
Dissolvenze Film Festival Gradisca Sonderprogramm "Amour Fou Pour Vous" 30.11. - 4.12.2005
20. Internationales Dokumentarfilmfestival München 6-14.5.2005
Diagonale 2004
Leeds International Film Festival, 17.10.-7.11.2004
Jüdische Filmwoche Wien 2004





© KGP Kranzelbinder Gabriele Production, Klub Zwei